What happens if you organize an issue of a publication around a color, rather than a topic?
I spend a lot of time thinking about the essence of the magazine, not just in finding great stories and images, but what, in this digital world, still makes this particular medium special. What is a print magazine that cannot be duplicated on a website, or even as a PDF?
Increasingly, that pushes me to think about the publication as a whole, as a singular physical object, rather than an amalgamation of disconnected elements. And that leads me to aspire to make Newcity not just about art, but to be an object of art itself.
Last fall, Jan and I visited Paris for the first time. Before we went, friends were generous with names of restaurants, art destinations and other sites we should visit. One such suggestion was Galerie Denise René, in part because of its history of showing Brazilian artists, an interest of ours. When we visited the gallery, its exhibition at the time was “dynamique du bleu,” a group show of work that had one thing in common. It was striking and fascinating. And voilà, an idea for a magazine issue was born.
The concept turned out to be easier than the execution. What is blue? It is a primary color. It is the color of the sky, the color of water. It is a state of mind. It is everywhere.
I started collecting books of artwork organized around the color, full of essays I never had a chance to read, and making notes about blue things. Blueberries, the phrase “true blue,” black-and-blue, blue light glasses, blue states, the Pantone color of the year, Very Peri, Joni Mitchell “Blue,” Miles Davis “Kind of Blue,” New Order “Blue Mondays,” Kurt Elling “Superblue,” Blue Note Records, Mischa Zupko “Blue Matter,” Blue Öyster Cult, Big Blue (IBM), “Blue is the Warmest Color,” “The Blue Boy” by Thomas Gainsborough. And so on. It does not stop once it starts.
We challenged everyone—writers, artists, even our printer, to suggest ideas and stories, small and large, straightforward and sideways.
Is it art? I don’t know. But it is blue.
Look for Newcity’s July 2022 print edition at over 300 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at Newcityshop.com.
IN THIS ISSUE
A Site of Struggle explores race, violence and art
The Blue Issue:
Something in the Water
The lives of Point Swimmers
Paint It Blue
Lessons from The Old Guitarist of Pablo Picasso
Don’t eat blue foods?
Ivy Ford and the future of the Blues
It’s a Gass Gass Gass
On “On Being Blue”
Bye Bye Blue
A lament for the classic Divvy bikes
Blue On Blue
Pat Dailey, the barroom troubadour of the Great Lakes
From the Heart and Soul
The Blues photos of Paul Natkin
The Strange Case of the Flower Carrier
New graphic storytelling from John Sammis
A new poem from Reginald Gibbons
And so much more…